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The Icarus Line

Interview von: Matthias Rauch mit Aaron North, am: 25.04.2004 ]

Wenn man ehrlich ist, sind The Icarus Line aus Los Angeles in der Vergangenheit weniger durch ihr musikalisches Schaffen aufgefallen als durch die Tatsache, dass sie den Mund gerne mal etwas zu voll nehmen. Mit ihrer neuen Platte „Penance Soiree” könnte sich zumindest ersteres ändern. So zeigt sich die Band hier deutlich geradliniger und ausgefeilter und schafft es, ihren Sound um weitere Facetten eindrucksvoll zu erweitern. Dass das natürlich nach wie vor schön rau und ungeschliffen klingt, muss ich wohl kaum dazu sagen. Grund genug Gitarrist Aaron unter anderem über Buddyhead, Guns’n’Roses und Los Angeles auszufragen.


Musicscan: The promo sheet makes you out to be the bad boys of rockÂ’nÂ’roll. How much of that image would you say is really true and is not merely a clever marketing strategy?

The Icarus Line: Nothing on our bio has been made up. Especially considering our friend Travis wrote it, not somebody at our record label. I donÂ’t think Travis is interested in marketing us in any particular way, because he has nothing to gain from it. The truth is always more fun.

Musicscan: Are there any releases planned on Buddyhead in the near future? Was it ever an option to solely release your own music on Buddyhead?

The Icarus Line: There is a new album by a Los Angeles band called Your Enemies Friends coming out next month, and soon after that another local band called Wires On Fire have an EP coming out on the label. ThereÂ’s also a 2 disc sampler compilation coming out next week, and the vinyl version of The Icarus Line album. It was an option to release our own music on Buddyhead, and we did.

Musicscan: How much Guns’n’Roses should one listen to on a daily basis? In how far have they left their traces on “Penance Soiree”?

The Icarus Line: I dunno. I haven’t listened to Guns’n’Roses for quite some time. The only time on the record I distinctly recall trying to rip off Guns’n’Roses was a small part on the song “Big Sleep”. I don’t really hear the influence anywhere else on the record.

Musicscan: What was the songwriting process for the new album like? Is there one major songwriter or does everybody contribute equally?

The Icarus Line: IÂ’m sure that would depend on who you asked.

Musicscan: How did you get in touch with V2 and how has the relationship been so far?

The Icarus Line: An A&R guy at the label heard a 10 minute song we were working on and liked it. Being on V2 is like being on any other indie label, except they have a tad bit more money to throw around. WeÂ’re all still piss broke though.

Musicscan: What is up with the dress code? It is not the most original idea out there, so why did you go for the shirt and tie kind of thing? What is the idea behind it?

The Icarus Line: It was original when we started doing it in 1998, and then not so original when everybody else started doing it in 2000. ThatÂ’s why we stopped doing it. The idea behind it served its purpose for itÂ’s time. ItÂ’s obviously time to do something different now.

Musicscan: In how far are you connected with the LA music scene? Do you feel part of it? What is special about it?

The Icarus Line: I do not feel a part of the LA music scene. On the odd occasion that we are in town, my idea of a good time is not to go see rock bands play live after seeing it every night on tour. When weÂ’re home, I donÂ’t really leave the house. People that are in other bands here talk shit on us and are bummed they have to work day jobs at burger king, while we wake up at 3 in the afternoon and spend our time doing interviews with obscure German fanzines.

Musicscan: How much does LA influence you on a personal and musical level? Do you think youÂ’d sound different if you were located in Iowa?

The Icarus Line: Of course weÂ’d sound different. Living in L.A. is like sensory overload. ItÂ’s a million different aspects of humanity hitting you at onceÂ… too much. I wouldnÂ’t want to live anywhere else though. The weather is great, the food is good, the grass is green, and the girls are pretty.

Musicscan: You are known to tour pretty much all the time. What are the best and worst aspects of being on the road with The Icarus Line?

The Icarus Line: The best is being able to eat every dayÂ… that doesnÂ’t seem to happen at home. The worst is doing the same thing over and over every day. Any routine is boring. I think thatÂ’s why I hated school so much growing up.

Musicscan: What has been the best tour for you so far and which band is the most fun to tour with?

The Icarus Line: Any tour where we get the most negative crowd response is the most satisfying to me. We play better when people hate us, and itÂ’s more entertainingÂ… not only for us, but for the crowd as well. Touring with Primal Scream is probably the most fun weÂ’ve had. Good dudes.

Musicscan: You mentioned in an interview that you think the European audiences are more receptive and open towards your music. Why do you think that is so?

The Icarus Line: I think the further away from home, and the less people have heard about us beforehand, the better reception we get. People who know more about our background always have the “prove it to me” attitude towards us while we play… which is certainly understandable. It’s not a competition to see which band can be the biggest bad ass. We’re just trying to make the best music we can.

Musicscan: Best and worst album lately?

The Icarus Line: Best new album I’ve heard… The Shins “Chutes Too Narrow”. Worst… anything that rhymes with “The Bills”.

Musicscan: Any last words or comments?

The Icarus Line: David Hasslehoff is satan.

  The Icarus Line
  V2 Records